Archive for October, 2010

This afternoon I took Cosette and Kara to the Golden Dragon Acrobats program.  I thought that it would be neat for Kara to see these talented performers from China, and needless to say, she was delighted!  🙂

It sure made me miss China.  I brought home a very special treasure from China, but I still left a part of my heart there too.  Someday, I pray that God will give me the privilege of going back there–maybe for an extended stay!

We couldn’t take pictures at the performance, but here is a video of the group that we saw:


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We have been very busy lately with Scouting/AHG activities.  Last weekend, we all took turns selling popcorn at a table in front of our local grocery store, and will probably set it back up next weekend too.  This weekend, we were pleased to be involved in a Court of Honor recognizing the son of a family that is very special to us who received his Eagle Scout rank.

Today was also the day that we had planned to give Brock, Cosette, and Luke the Religious Emblems that they earned this summer by completing their respective levels of the PRAY program.  I wrote an entry about that earlier at this link. It’s neat seeing the kids grow up and earn these kinds of awards, and we were especially pleased when Cosette spoke up to explain about the Game Box that she and Luke had made as part of the God and Me curriculum. She had been given no warning that she was going to do this, and she just stood up there and spoke so naturally and clearly.  That was really a blessing to this Momma!

We started thinking about the fact that it won’t be long until we’ll need to start working on the next levels of the PRAY awards.  John will need to finish the next one before he begins 9th grade, and Brock will probably just do that one at the same time.  Its special project involves making a video/newscast thing–that should be interesting….. Kara will be ready to do the Game Box one that Luke and Cosette just completed; Luke and Cosette will be ready to do the Pizza one that Brock just completed!  So, things just continue on!

I really am thankful that my kids can participate in these activities.  All of these things contribute to their developing skills and character, and I appreciate BSA and AHG more than I can say.

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A Beautiful Fall on the Prairie!

We have been having a beautiful fall on the Prairie!  Some years, we just have a lot of wind, so the leaves don’t last very long.  But this year has been great, and there are so many pretty trees!  Earlier this week, I just stood outside and looked at these trees down the street from our house.  They are truly beautiful!


Fall Leaves

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In 6th grade of our homeschool curriculum, the students are required to make a poster featuring a hand-drawn map of a country that shows features such as major cities, rivers, mountain ranges, agricultural products, natural resources, etc.  When John did this project, he chose the country of China because he was naturally interested in learning about Kara’s homeland.  I blogged about his project at this link.

This year was Brock’s turn, and he wanted to do his project on Japan.  He and Cosette both love that country and enjoy watching Japanese videos on You Tube, so this was a good choice for him.  It takes quite a bit of research to complete a map like this in order to include all of the required components.  So, the first stages involve finding maps on the internet and at the library that can be combined into the final product.  We found that the easiest way to draw the map was to use a computer projector to project the image onto a piece of poster board to trace. Then everything is neatly labelled and inked, and we usually find some interesting pictures to finish off the poster.

This project takes a lot of time, but it is a favorite of the Prairie Family.  It is amazing how much can be learned by doing something like this–not just about the country, but about being thorough, learning to assemble a nice display, being patient, etc.!

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This link explains how the miners got the shirts: http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/10/14/the-story-behind-the-chilean-miners-jesus-t-shirts/

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Kara is Unique!

For several years, I have noticed a “quirk” about Kara that I have never been quite able to put into words and explain.  It has to do with how she learns.  I used to get really frustrated because sometimes she’d seem to know something one day, and then be completely in the dark about that same thing the very next day.  Other times, it almost seemed like she’d pretend not to understand things that I knew she did understand.  I’ve learned that these things are just part of Kara being “Kara” and have learned how to deal with them.

Most recently, this has been most clearly shown in her learning to read.  She has made great progress in the last few weeks of first grade, but almost on a daily basis I have had to remind her that if she knows a word when she sees it, she doesn’t have to sound it out.  Smooth reading has definitely not been her style.  In fact, her style leans much more towards robotic perfectionism, if that makes any sense!

Anyway, I had begun to wonder if all of this reading struggle was another one of Kara’s quirky things, and I knew that eventually it would all make sense to her, and she’d do what she normally does: improve instantaneously!  Well, the picture for this entry that she drew for Luke this past weekend was my first clue that she is actually reading more than she thinks she can.  She did this all on her own, so not all of the words are spelled correctly, but I was surprised at how many were–not what I’d expect with how difficult she makes reading! Well, last Monday night during American Heritage Girls, she really turned a corner on the whole thing.  We were supposed to read a passage out of the Bible, and she asked if she could help me read it.  “This will take forever!” I thought, but I decided to let her read the easy words like the, and, He, etc.  As we went on, though, I let her read more and more of the words, until she was reading the whole thing by herself!  I told her, “Wait a minute!  You just read out of that grown-up Bible, and you read very easily and well!  If you can do that, don’t you think you can read out of your first grade reader?”  So, we got out her reader, and I told her to read just like what she was doing in the Bible. The difference was amazing.  I guess she thought reading should be hard, not realizing that she has been doing it for a long time!

So, this quirky pattern is one that repeats itself in a variety of situations and ways.  I’ve learned to recognize it, and it helps me not to get frustrated and impatient.  She’s a very smart girl, and she learns in her own unique way!

Here is a video of Kara’s improved reading:


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